Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Snow, but with redpolls and wine kits

We had three weeks without snow. It was strange at first, but I became reconciled to it. Marten and I took walks.

Then we had six inches of snow and a couple more and then about eight; it compacts and sublimates (and drifts) so it is not an even coating. But there's a good solid six inches on the driveway and Marten tells me I am on crack when I suggest a nice perambulation.

I have been fortunate enough to attract a second flock of finches; the first was ALL pine siskins, which was quite fine. They are irrupting like mad, apparently. I love them; they are tiny (stare at the smaller finches long enough and hummingbirds seem a little less ridiculous) with amazingly needle-nosed beaks for removing seeds from pine cones.

But I also like Redpolls and Birdchick was taunting me with hers, so it was with added delight that I realized my monochrome (almost) though lovely siskins had been augmented by sparrows dipped in raspberry juice. This is the usual description of a house finch, or maybe a purple finch, but in the gray of winter maybe the respberry juice is half frozen? It was quite startlingly bright. And goldfinches, who are in civvies for the winter, though quite lovely themselves.

There are more squirrels to be seen, red and gray and very tense. I don't blame them, there is a hawk spending a lot of time around. The deer were out during the day last Saturday as well; Sarah spotted four or five through my kitchenette window and there was one, possibly doomed, wandering around on Rt 106. I hope they don't eat my azaleas this year, but I am still struck by the pure, maybe completely ditzed-out, look of inquiry on their faces. None of the pictures I can find seem to show their focus, all ears and eyes... and maybe no analysis of any kind. At least they don't chew gum. I do not expect to like deer as much as I do, since I know there are usually far too many (and not enough wolves). But it is hard not to feel for them this time of year, and they look so polite. You would be amazed how much noise they make when they are in a hurry.

I spent much too much of yesterday putting my Radiance Jacket sleeves into the body. I have to do the non-button band/collar and it will be done. I hope it looks less tatty when blocked. Give me a nice halo-ey worsted to hide any number of flaws, particularly the putting together parts. And this is fundamentally a warmer-weather, slightly dressy sweater. It's never going to be warm enough here. Get real.

So maybe I'll make some Coraline socks (I do not need a blue sweater that will show, I suspect, every bulge of my fat), with holographic thread (this link has some nice Coraline pictures) and duplicate stitched stars instead of appliqueed cloth ones.

My original impulse to blog was related to a wine kit I am making. I have had great success in the past (drinkable) with Vino Vida and not so much with this kind, but I don't know if it's them or me. Twice. A kind of hideous uber-grape flavor. (I am making vinegar, now.) The failure, expensive in both effort and money, has made me inhibited from trying again. But I have had a kit sitting in the corner for two years (and fortunately, a spare sachet of the right yeast) and I decided to give it a shot. This was a more expensive kit, with oak chips and toasted oak powder (re***MARK***ably sludgy) and I mixed it up last week and have been enjoying the change of smell from Welch's to something more sinister. Yesterday I transferred it to the secondary fermenter. It made absolutely no more mess than killing a pig (probably. Definitely less noise. Not that I have killed a pig, really, in or outside). Only I would not have killed a pig in the kitchen.

The carpet needed replacing anyway.

And now, reading farther, I find this fancy-pants wine would like to sit, bottled, for six months or better yet a year before I try it. This will not be a tolerable solution to my need for a low-cost tipple anytime soon, the more since it is at least a month off from getting bottled.

Time to go through the sofa cushions for change and off to Kettle to Keg.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Your descriptions of deer are remarkable. Perfect. Poetry. Accurate.

And I LOL'd at the carpet comment.